I like being around people that take matters into their own hands. People who act first and ask questions later. People that roll up their sleeves, grab a shovel and start digging. This past Saturday was the DICE CiderFest held on the plaza of Home Savings Bank. If you haven’t done so, go out and find a DICE volunteer and thank them. Thank them for working so hard to revitalize our downtown one event at a time. These are people that get us downtown by taking their personal time, money and energy to host outdoor entertainment events. These are my kind of people and each one of them deserve a Golden Shovel Award.
Criteria for A Golden Shovel
While a lot of people spend time expressing their opinions about how things should be done Golden Shovel Diggers are busy doing what needs to be done. When you believe that actions speak louder than words you pay attention to what people do and what these Diggers do is keep asking “if not us, whom? And if not now, when?”
Golden Shovel Diggers know that success doesn’t come from what you’re going to do, it comes from doing – that’s why they’re always digging. They know that success favors those that put themselves out there, often taking personal and professional risks in the hope of making things better.
Golden Shovel Diggers know that there are times for planning and study and there are times to get busy and get to work. They get that brilliant ideas don’t amount to a heck of a lot if you don’t deliver on them. That’s why they deliver.
Progress doesn’t happen from good intentions and great plans. Progress happens when the shovels hit the dirt and nobody digs better than DICE. DICE delivers, for all of us.
Councilman Garret Ferrara is a big advocate of DICE and it’s downtown events. So much so in fact he recently forwarded an email that referenced the success of a similar group in Milwaukee who’ve done a great deal of digging in their city. Hopefully our new Main Street program will be able to pick up what DICE got started and transform the Kent events into something similar to Milwaukee’s success.
Milwaukee’s East Town Assocation
The East Town Association was established in the early 1960’s by a group of East Town merchants looking to foster business in the area and spur the growth of the business community in downtown Milwaukee.
Officially incorporated in 1983, the Association has made great strides toward improving the health of the business community and creating a vital neighborhood for both corporations, retail, restaurants, and service providers.
Today over 200 businesses, who are members of East Town Association, believe in the economic growth and vitality of downtown Milwaukee.
The mission of The East Town Association, Inc. is to serve our members by nurturing a community spirit that values a) Encouraging fellowship and sharing among members, b) Enhancing the neighborhood image and appeal, c) Preserving and celebrating our rich heritage and d) Fostering an environment to discuss issues impacting our community.
For over 45 years now, the East Town Association has worked to meet this mission and has helped attract new businesses, sponsored events that bring people to East Town and served as a catalyst for downtown development.
The geographic boundaries of the East Town community include the area of downtown Milwaukee east of the river from Clybourn Street on the south and Ogden Avenue on the north, extending to Lake Michigan on the East. East Town Association is committed to making East Town a great place to live, work and play.
In the history of the Association, there are many accomplishments to boast about. A few that we are most proud of are:
– Founding of the Annual Bastille Days Festival, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2006.
– Founding the East Town Market, which continues to grow each year will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2006.
– Founding of Jazz in the Park in 1991, Milwaukee’s favorite outdoor Free Jazz Series which takes place every Thursday evening in June, July, August and September in Cathedral Square Park.
– Sponsoring and producing Gallery Night and Day in partnership with The Historic Third Ward Association, which has become an incredibly popular quarterly event highlighting the rich visual art presence in Downtown Milwaukee.
– Sponsoring the first Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival and participating every year since the inception.
– Contributing 100% of all Jazz in the Park CD proceeds to support Music Education in the Milwaukee area.
EVERY THURSDAY EVENING JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER
Jazz in the Park is Milwaukee’s favorite outdoor music series. Thursday evenings the streets are alive with people strolling the streets surrounding Cathedral Square Park, before, during and after the evening’s performance. The 2006 season was the event’s 16th year of showcasing the best local, regional and national musicians, all performing in the lovely and historic Cathedral Square Park!
Jazz in the Park features culturally diverse music groups with the majority of the entertainers originating from the Milwaukee area with national and regional acts making appearances as well. Music ranges from straight-a-head jazz to Latin jazz and everything in between. The event is free of charge to the public.
Jazz in the Park entertains suburbanites, visitors and downtown residents. The East Town neighborhood has become a vibrant residential setting and many residents consider Jazz in the Park one of their favorite urban experiences, just steps from their front doors!
“Music in the Park, Inc.” is the non-profit arm of the East Town Association which was created in 1990 to create this musical event and draw people downtown highlighting the East Town neighborhood as a great place to work, live and find entertainment.
Now take a look at Kent’s events and I think you’ll see that thanks to DICE we’re right on track.
Dice 2006 Schedule
February – Ice Carving Competition
May 6 – Poetry in the Park
June 30 – Sidewalk Cinema
July 28 – Sidewalk Cinema
August 12 – Ice Cream Social
August 25 – Sidewalk Cinema
November 4 – Cider Festival